Books we didn’t finish (but you might) in 2017

Our staff share the books that they didn’t quite finish this year… but that you might.

‘I loved the sounds of Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different. A woman wakes up determined that this is the day she will Turn Her Life Around, but instead (and of course) chaos ensues. But almost as soon as I started reading I recognised that this was not a story I was in the mood for. I feel sad about this as several of my colleagues adore Semple’s comic sensibility and often recommend her as a fun literary read.’

Bronte Coates, digital content coordinator

‘I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s debut novel Stay With Me. This story about a Nigerian woman who struggles with infertility in a culture where a woman’s value is intrinsically linked with her ability to bear children was longlisted for the 2017 Bailey’s Prize, and was the final book that the legendary Michiko Kakutani reviewed for the New York Times (she called it 'stunning’). What I read was beautifully written – a portrayal of a marriage crumbling under societal expectations, the experiences of a couple who are forced to reassess their dreams for the future. The painful narrative is somewhat tempered by a sly humour and the protagonist Yejide’s bright spirit, but it was still just a bit too much for me.‘

Lian Hingee, digital marketing manager

'My book club has been a cherished part of my life this year, mostly because it consists of a mellow bunch of ladies who are very forgiving if anyone doesn’t finish the book – and sometimes, none of us do. The one I struggled with the most was Brideshead Revisited. I found it a bit of a hard slog to read – a bit like wading through Dickens with its hyper-descriptions of everything happening – so, I gave up before our meeting. This said, many of my fellow book club members loved this one.’

Fiona Hardy, bookseller at Readings Carton

Idaho looks exactly like the kind of book I would love – a literary family drama with a dark twist – and several people with very similar book taste to me did love this book. But I had to put it down about a quarter of the way through. It was beautifully written, but some of the content just left me feeling a little too disturbed, particularly one scene that has stuck with me for months now, which in itself is testament to the power of the writing.’

Nina Kenwood, marketing manager



Emily Ruskovich

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